Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

OK...here is a recipe for the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies you will ever make/eat/share...

Normally, I'm more of an Oatmeal Cookie type of girl, shortbread sometimes, and occasionally a gingersnap will get me going. I am (WAS) NOT a Chocolate Chip Cookie girl...that was until I happened across this recipe somewhere in my lifetime. Just the sound of the ingredients made my mouth water. Here you go...feel free to double it, you may as well because the dough is so freaking good that by the time you end up baking cookies, you only have half the dough left anyway.

The BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE Recipe...by Maija...


2 1/4 cups of regular flour...whatever happens to be in your cupboard, all purpose works well!
1 tsp. Baking Soda...you know, the stuff you put in your fridge to make it not stinky...
1 cup butter...or two sticks! Good butter people, not margarine...
3/4 cup packed brown sugar...mmmm butter and sugar...
1/4 cup white sugar...I just steal this from our coffee sugar bowl!
1 small (3.4 oz) package of Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix...Oh yes, I did say vanilla instant pudding!
2 eggs...just go over to your local eggery...or to AC for these!
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract....please, people use REAL vanilla!
2 cups Chocolate Chips...we use milk chocolate chips....or even better, cut up a ghiradelli bar!
1 1/3 cup chopped nuts...not your husbands nuts, but like walnuts work well!

In your kitchenaide mixer, (had to throw that in there) cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. In another bowl, mix the flour and soda together... Oh, turn the oven to 350*. Add the pudding mix to your creamed butter...and TASTE! Tastes good huh? :) Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time to the mixer and beat until fluffier than before! Add the flour slowly and mix well. Remove the paddle from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and nuts by hand. Taste the dough now! Its perfect to make little dime size balls, throw in the freezer and add them to ice cream later! heheh...

On ungreased cookie sheets, take your little cookie scoop and scoop out equal dough balls (or use about a teaspoon per ball) onto the sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes each.

cookies

MmmmMMMMMmM...they're the best.

Know what's even better? If you make the cookies a little bigger and after cooling cookies, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the bottom of one cookie, top with another cookie and wrap with freezer wrap...throw in the freezer and eat later. :)

Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Screws for sale... only $800 each...

A much needed day of cleaning was in store for the Lukin household when higher powers decided it wouldn't be. Now, normally, if I had ANY chance of getting away from cleaning, I would embrace it and go with the flow. Well, literally we did "go with the flow." Walking downstairs Evik stepped in a bunch of water and wanted to know who spilled what... The girls (Kaisa and Clara) are always playing "Real House" downstairs and we were sure they were the culprits. Not so. We heard water spraying everywhere...and knew in our guts that the water line had burst...again.

Yes, I said AGAIN! This is the fourth time since we bought this house that the water lines have either leaked or broken. FOURTH...like as in the SAME lines...and since our deductible is $1,000, we've always paid about $8- $900 in repairs, we've never been reimbursed.

Luckily for us, we have the very best "family" here. Not biological family, but our kids call them Auntie and Uncle, they came to the rescue. No shortness of cussing was spared as we dug out the side skirting on our house... (Don't forget we have about 8 feet of snow covering our house on all sides) and...down, down, down they went... into the depths of the deep blue sea. NOt really, but its dark and scary down there under the house.

now you see him

I'm no plumber, so if I incorrectly state something, just remember that! Daniel came over with his truck full of supplies, and him, Evik, Dean and I crawled and shimmyed our way over to the leaking.

water everywhere

What we found was awful. Like really, really AWFUL. The leakS were spraying from everywhere. The water was moving UP toward the insulation. It soaked through the insulation, through the vapor barrier, through the floor boards, and through the carpet to the downstairs B&B. UP. I said UP!

spraying water

After turning the water off, they were able to squeeze the pipes closed and replace about four or five different places where water was spraying out of...holes everywhere.

Mr fix it

After cutting most of the existing pipe off, they soldered patches, and replaced holey pipes for about five hours... All while on their knees and drenched in water...the temp outside was about 10 degrees, and gloves, fingers and knees froze.

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There were so many places in the pipe that had corroded and had water spraying out that we were faced with an ice rink under our house.

It wasn't until they came up for dinner that we were really mad though. Up from the depths of the house came a piece of pipe that we had previously paid over $800 to fix. This is what they came up with...

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I know Kotzebue doesn't have highly sought after plumbers, and I also know there are a lot of crooks out there. BUT...never had I imagined that THIS would have happened. Especially after paying that much for the "fix."

What...The...HECK!??

For those of you who don't see what it is, let me explain...

Apparently, we had a hole in our pipe. Instead of doing the professional thing, and soldering it, or replacing it...this guy found a screw and a piece of an innertube, for a waterproof seal no less, and screwed the screw into the hole. Problem solved.

Yeah.

screw in pipe

Anyway...its fixed now and all for a fraction of the price. All I was required to do was serve dinner, Chocolate Chip Cookies and home made vanilla ice cream. I'll make them cookies and ice cream and dinner for a YEAR for what they did for us last night.

ice cream
Ice Cream maker hard at work

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Seriously, I make the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies around...just ask Elsa! They have vanilla pudding mixed into the dough. MMMMmmmMMmmmM...

Anyway, I have recommendations for who to Use and who NOT to use...if anyone wants to know. I'd be happy to say. I just don't want to be snarky on this blog. :(

Thank Goodness for friends who like my cooking/baking...we're broke enough as it is.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All dressed up and no where to go...

Friday night marked a very special night! The first night I have ever seen my husband wear a "sport coat!" I saw him wearing a tie and slacks when we got married, I saw him wear a tie and slacks when his father died...and that was it.

The Local Lion's Club held a fundraiser for the Archie Ferguson Snow machine race, being held in about a week where the invitations stated..."Semi-Formal Wear." Apparently, Dean and I don't know what semi-formal is in Kotzebue, because we dressed and showed up like this:

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Most of the other people who forked out $30 each for a steak and potato dinner wore jeans and a t-shirt. Sure, their jeans had minimal oil stains and most of them actually wore deodorant, but their dress was not semi-formal...it was borderline redneck at best!!!

I will say, the dinner was spectacular, and the company we shared cracked us up. Dean ended up being the ONLY person wearing a shirt and tie...with jeans and a sport coat, no less! But, it was worth it to spend time with him and semi-curl my hair and semi-put on makeup! I'd suggest the next time we have a dinner like that, the invite say, "clean clothes required..." and hopefully next time they'll play some music or something during dinner! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Minor Surgery...

Courtesy of the temperamental volcano, Kotzebue doesn't have such staples as Milk, Soda and Medevac planes... But, thanks to my sister's knowledgeable background in the medical field, I am alive and well... :)

For lunch, we went to the Post Office, where a bake sale was being held for a local boy who is in Anchorage following a snow machine accident. Saima and I bought a wonderfully delicious shiifish spread sandwich and abruptly munched them down before we could get home to share...

On the way home, my throat started to itch... and itch... and itch! I started gagging, and coughing... I thought to myself, "oh no...what was I allergic to?"

Turns out, I'm wasn't allergic, but instead had a one inch bone stuck in my throat glands!!! I could feel it with my fingers and it was really stuck.

Like I said before, we're lacking in the emergency medical department, so I was afraid of waiting for an hour at the ER for something I KNEW my sister could do in less than ten minutes!

SO...she donned the Eskimo Surgeon headlamp and we cleaned off a pair of tweezers and off we went....

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After a few seconds of laughing and drooling of what was to come...she stuck those tweezers in my throat and plucked that bone out! :) We giggled and laughed our way through it...and now I'm FINE.

Bones!

And I'm still craving shiifish, so next time, I'll be more careful and try to avoid those bones!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Catching "the biggest fish" makes Frostbite OK!

You’re jonesing for a food that offers freshness, tastiness, nutrition, and is free. What do you do?

a) Cry because it doesn’t exist.

b) Have another green bean and stop whining.

c) Take your family fishing on the sea ice.


C it is! Fishing with the family. We facebooked our trip and got one lucky companion to malik (follow) us. She even let us borrow her sled!

It was an absolutely beautiful day and it only took about an hour to get everyone ready. Kaisa managed to cry only once as well! :)

Step 1


Once we got out to the ice, there were a bunch of people fishing already so we just wandered around looking for an empty hole. The kids ran off to see friends and dogs, and Dean, Chris and I sat down and started fishing.

koy and I

Of course, we weren't catching anything spectacular, one or two 25 pounders every fifteen minutes. Something that makes you cold and want to go home! Until..... You guessed it...they came. They came with a vengance! They were hitting our hooks, and people were actually snagging the fish, which is quite a sight to see a 35 pound fish hooked by the tail!

The most exciting thing we saw though, was a "ShiiTomIng" A (still moving) herring, inside a (still moving) tom cod, inside a Shiifish we just caught! I think we snagged the tom Cod right as the Shiifish was going to eat him!

Caught it just in time
Caught just in time...

Pulled it out and...
little fish in big fish
Saw this...

Our very own version of a TurDuckIn! A ShiiTomIng!
ShiiTomIng

Now I understand why people would want to stuff things inside each other, since it OBVIOUSLY happens in nature!

I did manage to get over the fact that Dean had gone before me, cause I hooked in a MONSTER fish. So large that we had to measure and weigh to make sure mine was the biggest! :)

MY Bigger fish
And it was! :)

Step 2

Of course, we (Dean) had plenty of beheadding and gutting to do, since its easier to do it on the ice, so the ravens and foxes can eat up the leftovers...

He couldn't keep up with how many fish we were catching. As soon as he was done removing a head and guts (30 seconds tops) another fish would be caught and brought over to him! I have to admit, it was mostly me who caught fish, so I was happy to have him take care of them for us!

lotsa little fish in big fish
And there were plenty of lessons, about momma fish and daddy fish. Kaisa was intensely watching and making sure we killed only "daddy" fish. She was excited to learn that they eat other fish.

Oh no a mama fish

We stayed out past our bedtimes and watched a beautiful sunset...
Sunset

And as we were packing up, getting all the fish into the sled, here comes Kaisa with a HUMONGOUS fish...she drug that thing by the tail and had the largest smile on her face that I can remember! Even bigger than her birthday party smiles!

My big fish
Dean had to help her hold it up.

She insisted that we did not cut it up though...it was HER fish.

She did end up with a bit of frostbite on her leg, after being asked twenty times if she was cold, and answering "NO, I'm good." each time.

This morning she said to me, "Mom its OK about my leg cause I caught the biggest fish right?!"

Oh, the priorities of a 5 year old!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fishers of man...or actually Fishers of Fish!

Dean went out for about an hour today...to see what he could see.

Apparently he saw a hole, and just happened to have all his fishing gear stuck to him in a backpack. So, he did what any other good man would do...he took out his trusty hammer and hammered an old hole open and went fishing.

Snowmachine and fish

I am so unbelievably jealous that I wasn't the first to catch a shiifish that I just don't know what to do with myself. And to make matters worse, Dean called me at WORK, while he was out there. Upon talking to me about how nice it was, how warm he was and how many fish he had caught in just a short amount of time...this is what I hear...

"...blah, blah, blah...yeah, I think I'm done...doh...whoa...ope...hold on...."

(Crashes, whispers and silent cussing...)

"Holy Cow Babe...I just caught the BIGGEST FISH I HAVE EVER SEEN!"

Maija: "Whatever, it can't be that big, you're exaggerating..."

"No, Seriously, its HUGE...It has to be over fifty pounds..."

Maija: "I gotta go, quit bothering me at work."

Out on the ocean

So, yeah, my jealousy has gotten the best of me. But bless my husband's heart, he didn't care. He was just happy to be out there. I swear, if he had a choice, he would live at camp and come in only to work. I bet he would even have a dog yard out there if he had a chance.

When I was growing up, I thought I had the MEANEST dad ever. He made me do chores, watch my sisters, go home at like EIGHT pm on weekdays, even though the curfew was at Ten! He even made me responsible when I lied and cheated! Ugh...he was so mean. AND...he was never home. He lived at camp, he tooted around on snowmachine, and I swore to myself that I would let my kids stay out till MIDNIGHT if they wanted to, and I would never ask them who was going to be with them... And I would NEVER marry someone who just wanted to go hunting.

Fish Face
If you were a smelt, or herring, this is what you'd see...

ha, HA..haHAHAHahah... hah. That's my laugh for doing everything like him. My husband is my father reincarnated, although his patience is much longer than my dad's. And you know what, my 12 year old son has to be home at EIGHT pm too...and TEN on the weekends. He has to tell us where he's going, who will be there and when he's going to be back. He is forced to eat dinner every night, and do back breaking chores too. You know what else... I love that Dean hunts and fishes and feels that way about the outdoors. He forces my lazy butt to do "things" even when all I want to do is curl up and read a book. Oh well. I guess you don't know EVERYTHING when you're growing up! :)

Fisher Man

So, anyway, he caught a bunch of fish and I went home during lunch to gut, cut, and filet them. There is really nothing better then FRESH shii fish, deep fried with a coating of batter made with one can of AK Amber beer and a few cups of Bisquick. Really, I'm serious, there is NOTHING better...not lobster, not halibut, NOTHING!

Monster Fish
I better not complain cause he caught a HUGE fish. He wasn't lying. According to our luggage scale it was over 50 lbs. That means we're eating good tonight!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hat Tricks...

Hold on to your hat tricks people, you’re in for a big surprise!

So, It’s about 5:00 this afternoon when hear the familiar “bloop bloop” sound of an email coming through my computer. (Think the AOL’s “You’ve got mail!”) So, of course, I just nonchalantly click on the link at the bottom right of my computer.

I get a letter from some dude trying to sell me the “Jimmy Hat Trick” which needless to say, has nothing to do with hats! As far as I know, a hat trick is something good hockey players strive for during a game…I’m exciting, thinking I can get into a UAA game for free.

It goes a little something like this.


Dear Maija L.,
Some things are tough to say in person. Like, your junk is boring. I mean it physically excites me, but its, just so, uhm, beige. (My Junk? Beige? WTF?)

Of course, you must still wear the jimmy (Sorry, you’re not daddy material) but we should totally loosen things up with the “French Letter.” The new penile accessories come in red and yellow, studded or scented. Not to mention, these condoms are completely vegan. Well, that pretty much wraps things up.
Sally…

OH.
MY.
GOD.

Did I just read “penile?!” Vegan? What are we supposed to eat them?! Seriously?!

I feel so taken advantage of. Not to mention embarrassed! I mean, I’m a married woman! And who is this “Sally” telling me my junk is beige???? HAHAH.


My only sane thought is that this MUST be some spam junk (no pun intended) mail. My next thought is that I just spread it all over the network! Ugh. I had to call the IT guy to tell him I accidentally opened the email…as if I wasn’t embarrassed enough.

If you need me, I’ll be at home, nursing my wounded ego…

Wor(th)dless Wednesday!

dean and spence

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inupiaq Words for today...

Thanks to Anugaaq for sending me these. I knew some of them, but not all of them!

I'll spell the words like they sound underneath, so you get the idea! :)


Aana


AH-nah
My aana's name is Katak, just like ME!

Mom
AH-kah
My mom's name is Jennie (Ahluniq, just like my daughter Kaisa)


Dad

AH-pah
This is my dad, his name is Willie.
husband
UNG-oot-noo-nick
This is my husband, Dean...the translation mean's "my man!"

Mother in law

AH-nah-roke
This is my mother in law, Emily...Dean's mom!
Oldest Sister
ah-KORE-uck
Yay, its me, Maija, I'm the oldest sister
young woman
niv-AKE-sake
Young woman...this is my sister, Saima
Youngest child
noo-KUCK-hlick
Youngest Child, who happens to be my youngest sister, Elsa
josie cousin
UGH-nah-kun
My cousin from my mother's sister.
This is my cousin Josie, her mom Ruthie is my mom's sister.
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ILL-yook
Otherwise known as "ILA" (sounds like ILYA)
Cross Cousins - mothers brothers, father's sisters, or another name for the many family members we have!
Kaisa and Allee are Ila.
Siblings
AHN-ick-un
Siblings: Max, Koy, Kaisa and Maddie


OK, I hope you enjoyed your lesson for today! :) You can always hear first hand how to say the word and how to use it in a sentance if you log onto www.nana.com and click on Inupiaq Word of the Week.

Katak.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Those Wascaly Wabbits!

And Ptarmigan...our very own Organic Wild Chicken!!!

Look what we found

Dean and Peter took the boys out hunting yesterday. The sun was shining, the smell of snowmachine exhaust filled the air, as they waited for them to warm up. Everyone remembered their parkies, guns, and warm gear, but no one brought food! haha. That's what happens when no women go!

Koy the hunter

Koy managed to shoot a few ptarmigan with a .17 instead of a shotgun. I wondered why they didn't use a shotgun, because when home, everyone exclaimed they had NEVER seen so many ptarmigan. Of course, I wasn't there, so no pictures were shot of the alleged "thousands" of ptarmigan!

Koy plucking

At our house, you better igichaq your birds before you bring them in otherwise you'll get an earful from me!

Tim Plucking

So they did, like good little men should!

Feathers everywhere

They even managed to get most of the feathers in the garbage bag! To which I was very happy!

Other than ptarmigan, Dean and Peter shot a couple of rabbits. The skin is pretty much ruined, but we might be able to save the ears for something! At least all the meat was good!

boys and their catch

I guess we're either having Rabbit or Ptarmigan for dinner tonight! My mom makes the BEST ptarmigan casserole. It has wild rice, carrots, onions, and whatever other secret ingredients she puts in it. Whatever it is...its great.

Unlucky Rabbits feet

These rabbits feet ended up being a bit unlucky! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New House!!!

Phase 1 complete! :)

i can cut

The snow is perfect to build an igloo, and obviously we have a plethora of SNOW (ugh) surrounding my house...so, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you packed down drift snow, you make an igloo...

working hard

Phase one is complete...the bottom section and about three stacks up, is sitting up there on our hill, waiting for us to finish. The bite of the wind nipped our cheeks and tickled our toes...but that didn't stop us from sawing our way into half an igloo!

A long time ago, Eskimo's from Alaska did NOT live in igloo's...they used them when hunting, or moving from place to place. Once, my atatta (Grandpa) built an igloo at camp in the winter for us kids to play in, he showed us how to cut the snow, what kind of snow to use (the kind that kind of acts like styrofoam, stiff but light) and how to make the top so it didn't fall in. Since then, we really haven't made one, but I guess its better late then never. Besides, I worked feverishly on the side that was blocking the wind!

The kids are already making plans as to what they're going to put in it, including a light, and Qatchiaqs (caribou skins) all over the floor so they can play in there without outdoor gear. We're spraying the outside with water and its pretty rigid right now, so keep checking in, we have four phases we want to complete.

This is what our dogs did while we worked, the usual, whine and cry to play...

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